14 flavors of Delaware summer festivals to munch on — from Phish fest to Burger Battle (2024)

Andre LamarDelaware News Journal

14 flavors of Delaware summer festivals to munch on — from Phish fest to Burger Battle (1)

14 flavors of Delaware summer festivals to munch on — from Phish fest to Burger Battle (2)

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Do you want a summer festival dedicated to dessert, another all about Phish, or one that encourages you to dress up like your favorite superhero or villain?

No matter what you're itching to do this summer, there's probably a Delaware festival that will scratch it.

Here's a diverse mix of 14 festivals across the state you can dive into through August, including a preview of the Delaware State Fair.

Holy Trinity Greek Festival, Wilmington

Have you heard about the bustling scene on Broom Street in Wilmington, where thousands gather to dance, sing, and savor the aroma of fresh gyros passing through the air? It's not a myth — it's a cherished tradition at the Holy Trinity Greek Festival. The event is promoted as the largest Greek Festival in the Mid-Atlantic region, and the only one in Delaware, per the organizers. The festival is back with a menu of Greek cuisine for six delicious days of fun.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (808 N. Broom St., Wilmington) from Monday, June 3, to Saturday, June 8. Festivals times each day are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Visit Facebook.com/WilmGreekFest or greekfestde.com.

Serafin Summer Music, Wilmington & Milford

Branded as the state's only chamber music festival, Serafin Summer Music runs from Wednesday, June 5, to Sunday, June 23 and features performers from all over the world. This includes musical acts from New Zealand, China, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the Philippines, and various places around North America including the Mid-Atlantic region.

Participating Serafin artists are: Sara Sant'Ambrogio (cello), Kate Ransom (violin and artistic director), Hal Grossman (violin), Eric Pritchard (violin), Amadi Azikiwe (viola), Yinzi Kong (viola), Adelya Shagidullina (viola), Charae Krueger (cello), Jacques-Pierre Malan (cello), Eileen Grycky (flute), John Dee (oboe), Gregory Miller (horn), Victor Asuncion (piano), Read Gainsford (piano), Augustine Mercante (countertenor), Gina Perregrino (mezzo-soprano) and Gabe Benton (harpsichord).

Performances will be held in Wilmington (Fridays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m.) and Milford (Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.) from June 5 to 23.

Concerts are held at the Music School of Delaware's Wilmington branch (4101 Washington St., Wilmington) and the Milford branch (23 N. Walnut St., Milford) — unless noted otherwise online.

For tickets and to view the Serafin Summer schedule, visit musicschoolofdelaware.org or (302) 762-1132.

Dover Comic Con

Since actions speak louder than words, you can tell everyone who your favorite anime is by cosplaying them at Dover Comic Con.

The free event is family-friendly and particularly good for folks who are new to cosplay and/or want to get a taste of what a comic convention is all about. (The con is also perfect for folks who love to people-watch.)

Lots of vendors and artisans sell wares and items at the convention. There usually are cool vehicles on display like replicas of the Batmobile or "Jurassic Park" Jeep. Last summer, "Pokémon" fans went wild after a replica of the Pikabug car pulled up.

Near Leg Hall (411 Legislative Ave.) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8. Free event. Visit delmarvaevents.net.

St. Anthony's Italian Festival, Wilmington

This year the St. Anthony's Italian Festival celebrates 50 years of serving folks "la dolce vita," or the sweet life. The eight-day festival, branded as one of the largest Italian celebrations in the country, dishes up a variety of authentic and tasty cuisine.

The festival, which Joe Biden has attended, is sponsored by St. Anthony of Padua Parish; and the event is the primary fundraiser for St. Anthony of Padua Grade School in Wilmington.

St. Anthony's Italian Festival (901 N. Dupont St., Wilmington) from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9; from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Monday, June 10, through Friday, June 14; from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 15; and from 2 to 6 p.m., Sunday, June 16. Visit sapde.org or (302) 421-3700.

June Jam, Houston

Emotions will be high at this year's June Jam as organizers are putting this festival on in memory of Bob Hartley, the co-founder and past president who died unexpectedly in April at age 68.

The longtime festival will make lots of noise with its 46th annual musical rodeo featuring headliner Shoot to Thrill, the all-female tribute to AC/DC.

June Jam, which is a nonprofit, is self-promoted as the longest-running music festival in the nation (since even the pandemic couldn't stop them).

Over the years, proceeds from June Jam have benefited all sorts of causes, from helping people struggling with medical bills to supporting Toys for Tots. G&R Campground (4075 Gun and Rod Club Road, Houston) from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Tickets are $50 at door; discounted tickets sold online. Visit junejam.com.

Smyrna at Night

Headlining this year’s Smyrna at Night is the rock band Smash Mouth, famous for their “Shrek” classics “All Star" and "I'm a Believer."

Smyrna at Night is branded as Kent County's largest free outdoor concert. This year's event will be spread across three stages with 18 bands. While the full lineup will be announced soon, other confirmed acts include acclaimed singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson and local favorites Love Seed Mama Jump.

Smyrna at Night will be held downtown from noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Admission is free. For more info, visitfacebook.com/smyrnaatnight.

Juneteenth Freedom Parade and Festival, Wilmington

The Juneteenth Freedom Parade and Festival in Wilmington is back to honor the emancipation of African Americans.

The event is on Saturday, June 15 and starts with a parade at 11 a.m. from Rodney Square (1000 N. Market St., Wilmington) down to the festival that boasts music, food, fun and more at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park (Rosa Parks Drive, Wilmington). Visit Delawarejuneteenth.org or (302) 314-5863.

Running of the Bull, Dewey Beach

Chicago isn't the only place with bulls. Dewey Beach has one too! The 27th annual Running of the Bull is charged up for a whimsical fiesta where participants are chased up the highway and onto Dewey Beach by a costumed bull. But this bull is different because it is powered by four human legs.

The main bull run is at 9 a.m., followed by the Kids Bull Running at 10:30 a.m. The band Kristen & the Noise will party from noon to 4 p.m.

The Starboard (2009 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach) at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 29. Visit therunningofthebull.com or (302) 227-4600.

Ice Cream Festival, near Wilmington

It's hard not to have a sweet time during the Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park & Museum. The event serves up ice cream, food trucks, entertainment, museum tours, over 35 marketplace vendors, carnival games, beer garden, and more fun. Free parking and shuttle are available at Rockwood Office Park (501 Carr Road, near Wilmington).

Rockwood Park & Museum (4651 Washington St. Extension, near Wilmington) from 1-9 p.m. Saturday, June 29. Visit newcastlede.gov or (302) 395-5555.

Delaware State Fair, Harrington

The variety of things you can do at the Delaware State Fair is like a bag of Skittles because there's a flavor for everyone to enjoy at this 10-day event.

If concerts are your thing, this year's lineup on the M&T Bank Grandstand features headliners Rick Springfield (Thursday, July 18), Jon Pardi (Friday, July 19), Ludacris (Saturday, July 20), Jordan Davis (Sunday, July 21), Cooper Alan (Monday, July 22), We the Kingdom (Tuesday, July 23), Brantley Gilbert (Wednesday, July 24) and Turnpike Troubadours (Saturday, July 27).

Aside from concerts, two other mainstage events are Harness racing (Thursday, July 25) and the Demolition Derby (Friday, July 26).

The fair is also known for oodles of amusem*nt rides, games, animals, vendors and other attractions. Not to mention, deep-fried Oreos are a specialty here. Last year's fairattracted 308,989 guests.

Delaware State Fair (18500 S. Dupont Highway, Harrington) Thursday, July 18 through Saturday, July 27. General admission tickets are up to $10 in person or $10.50 (online). Concerts on the Grandstand are extra, and prices vary. Visit delawarestatefair.com or (302) 398-3269.

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Mondegreen, The Woodlands Dover

What's the most anticipated Delaware festival of the year? It's without a doubt Phish's Mondegreen fest. Drawing fans from around the country, the iconic jam band Phish will debut its new four-day festival in The Woodlands of Dover (the stomping grounds of Firefly Music Festival).

General admission starts at $450 and covers access for all four days. If you're bringing a vehicle, you must also buy a camping or parking vehicle pass (1 per car or RV). Parking passes (day or overnight) start at $40.

Mondegreen is in The Woodlands at Dover Motor Speedway (1131 N. Dupont Highway, Dover) from Thursday, Aug. 15, to Sunday, Aug. 18. Visit mondegreen.phish.com.

MiddletownOld-Tyme Peach Festival

There's a fuzzy fruit that's king in Middletown. The 31st annual Old-Tyme Peach Festival is on tap downtown to give folks a juicy time with a parade, car show, food court, pie eating contest, live music, vendors and more. Many activities are around Main Street.

Broad Street, Middletown, from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17. Visit middletownpeachfestival.com or (302) 378-7466.

Delaware Burger Battle, Wilmington

The 11th annual Delaware Burger Battle is like a royal rumble where the arena is in your mouth. Last year's event sold out, and tickets for this summer's battle go on sale in June.

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For the cost of one ticket, your appetite will have a chance to dropkick (sample) burgers at each booth that are prepared by local restaurants fighting for mouthwatering bragging rights. This charity food festival has raised over $112,000 for charity, per Burger Battle's website.

Rockford Tower (2000 Lookout Drive, Wilmington) from noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. Tickets TBA. Visit deburgerbattle.com.

Peoples Festival: Tribute to Bob Marley, Wilmington

The state's been feeling a lot of Bob Marley vibes this year, from the hype of the new Marley biopic to his son Stephen receiving the key to the city of Wilmington, where Marley and Stephen used to call home. Those vibes are creating good momentum for the 30th annual Peoples Festival: Tribute to Bob Marley. The beloved festival offers a variety of vendors and musical acts. Past Peoples Festival events have featured several notable performers including Marley's children and The Wailers (Marley's former band). This year’s lineup hasn’t been unrevealed yet.

Garrett Riverfront Park (Rosa Parks Drive, Wilmington) on Saturday, Aug. 31. Early bird tickets are on sale for $15. Visit peoplesfestival.com.

14 flavors of Delaware summer festivals to munch on — from Phish fest to Burger Battle (2024)


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